What to Do Before You Turn On Your AC For The North Carolina Summer
After a long winter, it may seem like summer will never come to North Carolina. But of course, it does, and with summer comes hot temperatures! As a homeowner, you should know what to do before you turn on your AC unit for the first time in the year. There are a few key maintenance tasks you should perform, and a handful of potential “trouble areas” to watch out for. As with any major appliance, your AC needs annual maintenance to ensure it’s running at maximum efficiency. In North Carolina and elsewhere, the best time for air conditioner maintenance and repairs is in the spring or early summer, before you plan on using your unit. That will allow time to fix or address any problems that present themselves during the inspection. Here’s what to do before turning on your AC unit, from the HVAC technicians at Blanton’s Air.
Schedule an Annual AC Maintenance Appointment
One and done: In many ways, this is the only step you need to take! If you work with a reputed local HVAC company, they will perform a full inspection of your AC unit before you turn it on, and let you know what (if any) repairs need to be done, and what (if any) AC upgrades need to be made. During your annual AC maintenance, you will be made aware of any problems in the unit, but just as important, your technician will lubricate all moving parts, clean any dusty or grease areas, change or upgrade the air filter, and perform additional tasks necessary to keep your AC running in optimal condition. The best time to perform annual AC maintenance is before you need to use it.
Change or Clean Your AC Air Filters
Did you know that you should be changing your air conditioner filters regularly? This is a simple task you can do yourself. Disposable air filters should be swapped out regularly, but always before the AC unit is used for the first time. If your AC filters are reusable, clean them and give them adequate time to dry fully before replacing them. This is also a good time of year to decide if you want to invest in high-efficiency air filters or AC filters made for people with allergies.
Clean and Adjust Your AC Vents
Your HVAC system comprises the actual heating and cooling unit(s), like the furnace and central air conditioner, as well as ductwork and vents. There are two types of vents in your AC system: return vents and distribution vents. The distribution vents are the point at which cooled and conditioned air enters your living space. (Or, in the winter: the heated air.) Before you turn on your AC for the summer, remove the vents and wash them in soapy water, or wipe them with a damp rag. You can also use a vacuum cleaner with a nozzle attachment to clear any pet hair, dust, or foreign particles from the vent.
Have Your Ductwork Cleaned
Although not necessary for an operational air conditioner, you’d be amazed at how much more efficient your AC unit is once you’ve had your ductwork cleaned. Many homeowners also report that their air is cleaner and smells better after cleaning their AC ducts. Your local air conditioning company can inspect the ductwork and will tell you honestly whether or not it could benefit from being cleaned.
No one can tell you what to do before you turn on your AC — it’s not dangerous to use it without taking the above-mentioned steps. But it’s just smart homeownership to perform these tasks before using your air conditioner. Not only will your unit perform more reliably and keep your air cool and fresh, but these simple steps can also keep your energy costs low. Not to mention, performing annual maintenance on your AC before turning it on will boost the unit’s longevity, meaning it will last longer and require less investment in repairs or fixes down the line. Now that’s cool!
Contact Blanton’s Air at (910) 249-4898 for all your Fayetteville or Raleigh, NC HVAC and plumbing needs.